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Donovan Morningfire

Using Discipline to modify a lightsaber crystal

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Maybe you could do something as simple as just adding a number of Boost dice equal to your Force Rating to the Mechanics check to resolve lightsaber construction and modification. That way both the mechanical and the 'spirtual connection to the force' aspects are involved. Alternatively you could upgrade the positive dice of the Mechanics check a number of times equal to your Force Rating. Or in either of the above cases instead of just using Force Rating to determine things, you could roll your Force Rating in Force dice and 'spend' pips to accumulate your Boost dice or positive dice upgrades respectively.

Edited by Demigonis

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I see the problem with Discipline becoming the end all skill for force users, but also don't really like mechanics.  To many of the force users portrayed thoughout the lore of the universe strike me as pretty non-techie. 

 

I like the suggestion of Lore.  I think that's a class skill for a large amount of the career/specializations.  Possibly keeping mechanics and adding boost or upgrades for force level would also work.

 

If it's made easier I might come up with some sort of boost for the Artisan though.  Having Jedi able to do all their own upgrades would put a crimp in their schtick.

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If it's made easier I might come up with some sort of boost for the Artisan though.  Having Jedi able to do all their own upgrades would put a crimp in their schtick.

In my suggestion of Boost dice or positive dice upgrades, I imagined that it would only apply to lightsaber construction and customization, not other forms of crafting or modifying items. That would allow artisans to still be special as normal. It just means Obi-wan doesn't have to go down to the local artisan to have his lightsaber tinkered with. Lightsabers are a personal weapon that generally if not always are crafted and modified solely by the owner/user.

Edited by Demigonis

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Part of my reasoning in the suggestion to allow for Discipline as an alternative option for modifying a lightsaber crystal was that it's a skill that only two of the six Lightsaber Form specs have as a bonus career skill.  Admittedly it's a skill that can be added as a career skill later on through purchasing certain specializations, but the same can be said of any other skill in the game; just pick the right specializations and you can have any skill you want as a career skill if you really want it.  And of the existing skills presented, it certainly beats using Lightsaber as an alternate skill.

 

I agree with Lorne's point that using Knowledge: Lore breaks with the precept that the Knowledge skills are there to provide information, not resolve tasks in the way that the General and Combat skills are.

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But here is WHY I like discipline for this. I don't feel comfortable with Mechanics modding a crystal. Frankly, I don't even feel a non-force using mechanic SHOULD be able to mod a crystal. I think Discipline alone fits best with the lore. Here is why.

Force users either seek out a specific crystal, or they craft their own in a furnace using the Force to clear it of impurities. In every source I have, the best a non-force user can do is a light-foil. There is something mystical about lightsabers. A precision JUST as rare and important as Luke being able to instinctively target a Proton Torpedo. Crafting a lightsaber is supposed to be how a force user shows that they have mastered not only themselves, but that they have the instincts and focus to build a precision tool. I know it's a game, but something is lost to me if Garrick the Outlaw Tech can just rig one up real quick out of spare parts and a rare crystal. 

 

I think only force users should be able to mod a crystal (leave everything else, like hilts for mechanics) and keep the Force Special. Discipline actually makes the most sense, as that is what it would take to focus like that. However, I would suggest a minimum Force Rating to be able to mod a crystal. FR could do anything from adding boost dice, to downgrading the Impossible check (if you use the reds like Sam suggested in Order 66) to even adding Pips as successes. I LOVE the idea of modding crystals, I just don't like it being a mechanics mod. Is my suggestion Fiddy? Sure, but does it make a Force user special? YES!

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Weighing the back and forth, if you made me choose right now, I'd say allow a user to use either mechanics or discipline.  I can see the pluses and minuses of Lore, but thinking about it I have to agree it doesn't fit thematically.

 

I'd possibly even give a bonus, or complementary roll if you have both discipline and mechanics. 

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Part of my reasoning in the suggestion to allow for Discipline as an alternative option for modifying a lightsaber crystal was that it's a skill that only two of the six Lightsaber Form specs have as a bonus career skill. 

 

See, I think this is why Lightsaber should be the alt skill to use. It makes sense that players who want to focus on lightsaber combat should be more savvy on how to better adapt their lightsabers to combat. 

 

Discipline is held by two careers, and one spec outside those two. I don't think it's prevalent enough for something so important. Since mods become impossible when a roll is failed (and since crystals are so rare/costly), allowing the most prevalent lightsaber users to more easily screw up modding their own lightsaber and end up with something less potent than the character who doesn't focus on using it is a bit of a letdown.

 

 

... that said, maybe the mod system shouldn't be used for crystals. Maybe you should get crystal "mods" based on your Force Rating or something, with no rolling involved. Allow the hilt to be modded up normally with Mechanic, but let the crystal react to the user.

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I'm looking at the Crystal modding situation and I'm wondering what are the pros and cons for each different lightsaber hilt ?

 

Baisc ?

Doublebladed ?     gives Link 1 quality ?

Pike ?

Shoto ?     gives Defensive 1 quality but -2 to damage ?

Curved hilt ?     +1 advantage to successful lightsaber attack ?

Extended hilt ?     +1 damage

 

Can someone confirme and complete the bonus for each hilt please.
Thanks

 

 

Since it's hard to find concensus among us, and that the RAW Lightsaber from EotE and AoR already has a fully modded Illum Crystal, I was thinking it could be as simple has always having fully modded crystals... so no need to choose between mechanics, lore or discipline, since you don't need to roll anything.

 

Same could be for Hilts and emitters.... just give 3 slots to lightsabers, 1 for crystal, 1 for hilt, 1 for emiter.... they are always fully modded... players just have to choose which combination they want.

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For lightsabers, here's the upsides and downsides:

Basic = Basic, no requirements to wield, more modding options

Double-Bladed = Linked 1 / +1 ENC, -1 HP, +300 Credits, Unwieldy 2, 2x Cost for all attachments

Pike = Defensive 1 / +2 ENC, -2 HP, +300 Credits, Cumbersome 3

Shoto = Accurate 1 / -2 DMG

 

All other hilts are considered attachments.

 

Personally, I think it's fine the way it is. The decreased damage and bonuses by default make it so players are effective, but not too effective, and it gives them something to strive for with whatever credits they stumble on. Especially since for most Jedi, particularly with the Morality mechanics, you're less likely to have the group say "Hey, lets go rob a bank," and have to worry about dealing with all the problems excess money entails. And by keeping the majority of mods on the crystal itself, you can have scenarios where lightsabers get broken or damaged, and the players just have to deal with the up to 600 credit cost to fix it. The extra HP is also just flat out useful, if you stop it at 1 for each normal component, and forcing each component to take up that HP, then you can't do fun things like slapping a Gene-lock on your lightsaber.

 

And with the number of HP available, and making these crystals 2 HP instead of just 1 and knocking the numbers down, there's probably a reason. Like I wouldn't be surprised if the crystal in Jewel of Yavin takes like 3HP since the thing is so huge. There might even be special smaller crystals that only take 1 HP.

 

Besides that, the book already is trying to push things away from the fully modded crystals being given out to everyone. Default lightsabers for the Inquisitors are unmodded Ilums.

Edited by Lathrop

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The way I had been looking at it was not that the crystal itself was being modified, but the lightsaber hilt's mechanics was being modified. In that way, Mechanics would be the go-to skill.  One could mess about with different ways energy was being put through the crystal, or the way the crystal was held in place - certain angles made particular effects.

 

That's how, in my head, Mechanics was used to mod "the crystal."

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The situation that should be avoided is one where a lightsaber is handed over to someone else to mod. There is a strong thread of one building and maintaining one's own lightsaber as part of training, and that needs to be more attractive an option than having some lighsaber Ollivander (or the ship's mechanic) squeeze the most out of it..

Edited by Doc, the Weasel

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The way I had been looking at it was not that the crystal itself was being modified, but the lightsaber hilt's mechanics was being modified. In that way, Mechanics would be the go-to skill.  One could mess about with different ways energy was being put through the crystal, or the way the crystal was held in place - certain angles made particular effects.

 

That's how, in my head, Mechanics was used to mod "the crystal."

But as is, a modded crystal could be taken out and handed to a friend to put in their lightsaber, with full mods! (Right?)

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The way I had been looking at it was not that the crystal itself was being modified, but the lightsaber hilt's mechanics was being modified. In that way, Mechanics would be the go-to skill.  One could mess about with different ways energy was being put through the crystal, or the way the crystal was held in place - certain angles made particular effects.

 

That's how, in my head, Mechanics was used to mod "the crystal."

But as is, a modded crystal could be taken out and handed to a friend to put in their lightsaber, with full mods! (Right?)

 

Under the rules in the book, if you remove the crystal, any and all modifications are lost.  Then again, you could have a tech-savvy modify the heck out of a vibro-axe with the mono-molecular edge or heavy blaster rifle with the augmented spin barrel and then hand it off to a PC that's specialized in using those weapons, no problem.  Amusingly enough, that's what one of the PCs in our group has done, modifying the Wookiee Commando's gear (he pays for the parts, she installs/tweaks them) with her vastly superior Mechanics check.

 

RLouge177's post is why I feel it should be a choice of Mechanics or Discipline, since both approaches are valid in terms of the modifications.

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For lightsabers, here's the upsides and downsides:

Basic = Basic, no requirements to wield, more modding options

Double-Bladed = Linked 1 / +1 ENC, -1 HP, +300 Credits, Unwieldy 2, 2x Cost for all attachments

Pike = Defensive 1 / +2 ENC, -2 HP, +300 Credits, Cumbersome 3

Shoto = Accurate 1 / -2 DMG

 

All other hilts are considered attachments.

 

What does Unwieldy do ?

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So how does someone attune a Crystal with the Force? That is the point of this discussion. Does it make Discipline even more important? Yes. So what?

 

I have to disagree here. IMO, the point is "do we need to change the current rule to use Discipline in order to mod a lightsaber ?", which is very different.

 

For a Force user, EVERYTHING is about the connection with the Force, mind over matter and all that jazz. I completely agree with that. But in a game, that would mean: ALL checks could be made using Discipline, if Discipline represents how efficient is the connection with the Force.

 

The Force powers show us a different route: Enhanced is a good example, allowing to add Force dices to Piloting checks, for instance, but doesn't allow the use of Discipline instead of Piloting. As it is a game, balance and variety in characters are issues, not only simulation.

 

Which is why i express concern if Discipline becomes a uber-skill, and offer alternatives if Mechanics seems too weird for some: K(Lore), for instance, or the possibility (maybe with a Talent) to add Force dices to mod a lightsaber.

 

The part about Luke & Vader being skilled mechanics is a different argument, far less important, trying to show that considering only the OT, which is covered by F&D, using Mechanics is not so crazy. But I agree this is by far a weaker argument ;)

 

Kudos for your EU trivia, btw ! :)

 

 

Substituting skills is something that SAGA did, and frustrated a lot of people, making UtF an even more overpowered skill. perfidious makes a point that the use/Marshalling of the force can be an argument to do away with almost all teh skills, but we have powers (enhance/influence) and talents (comprehend technology) that do what people are talking about.

 

There are already rules in the book/core mechanic for using complementary skills, which could be mentioned in a side bar for moding crystals ONLY, and I would suggest a hefty penalty on top of that (upgrading by 1 or 2 steps).  Other wise, why bother pumping any other skill besides discipline?  You can build the best LS and move objects with the best of them.  One stop shopping.

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So how does someone attune a Crystal with the Force? That is the point of this discussion. Does it make Discipline even more important? Yes. So what?

 

I have to disagree here. IMO, the point is "do we need to change the current rule to use Discipline in order to mod a lightsaber ?", which is very different.

 

For a Force user, EVERYTHING is about the connection with the Force, mind over matter and all that jazz. I completely agree with that. But in a game, that would mean: ALL checks could be made using Discipline, if Discipline represents how efficient is the connection with the Force.

 

The Force powers show us a different route: Enhanced is a good example, allowing to add Force dices to Piloting checks, for instance, but doesn't allow the use of Discipline instead of Piloting. As it is a game, balance and variety in characters are issues, not only simulation.

 

Which is why i express concern if Discipline becomes a uber-skill, and offer alternatives if Mechanics seems too weird for some: K(Lore), for instance, or the possibility (maybe with a Talent) to add Force dices to mod a lightsaber.

 

The part about Luke & Vader being skilled mechanics is a different argument, far less important, trying to show that considering only the OT, which is covered by F&D, using Mechanics is not so crazy. But I agree this is by far a weaker argument ;)

 

Kudos for your EU trivia, btw ! :)

 

 

Substituting skills is something that SAGA did, and frustrated a lot of people, making UtF an even more overpowered skill. perfidious makes a point that the use/Marshalling of the force can be an argument to do away with almost all teh skills, but we have powers (enhance/influence) and talents (comprehend technology) that do what people are talking about.

 

There are already rules in the book/core mechanic for using complementary skills, which could be mentioned in a side bar for moding crystals ONLY, and I would suggest a hefty penalty on top of that (upgrading by 1 or 2 steps).  Other wise, why bother pumping any other skill besides discipline?  You can build the best LS and move objects with the best of them.  One stop shopping.

 

And yet that is exactly what we have examples of in the lore. It may not make the game as balanced as you prefer, but using the Force is how it is described. We already have some balance in the fact that a Force User would have to take Lightsaber as a combat skill anyways. Ranged (light) has Grenades, thrown weapons, pistols, and explosive arrows. Ranged (heavy) has sniper rifles, repeating blasters, and regular arrows. Mechanics in and of itself is a multi-use skill, allowing repairs to droids, starships, lockbreaking, hot-wiring, and attachment moding.   

Discipline is great for a Force user, and they are probably going to get it anyway. Modding a lightsaber seems like a personal journey. Handing it off to the mechanic to upgrade like you would a blaster just doesn't have the right feel. As the user is already paying a penalty by spending XP in the Lightsaber skill (instead of one of the more universal ones, like ranged (light) ) then it isn't really game breaking to also allow that Force User to use Discipline to Mod the Crystal. (Not the hilts, just the crystal itself). 

 

What we are preventing is every Lightsaber wielder from also being a tech nerd or from every group having to hand their personal weapon to the group tech nerd/NPC. 

Edited by Gigerstreak

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You know, I think a lot of the problems with crystals would really go away if they just simply added another lightsaber component: the beam emitter. You'd have to have all 3 things to make a lightsaber work (though maybe it would work without the crystal, it would just deal stun damage, like the training emitter already does basically). If they took the damage mods off the crystals and put them on the emitter, and maybe the reduce critical ones too, well... Then it probably wouldn't be that big a deal to just mod crystals with Mechanics (and maybe give boost dice equal to force rating, just to represent that they're attuning it or something). 

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You know, I think a lot of the problems with crystals would really go away if they just simply added another lightsaber component: the beam emitter. You'd have to have all 3 things to make a lightsaber work (though maybe it would work without the crystal, it would just deal stun damage, like the training emitter already does basically). If they took the damage mods off the crystals and put them on the emitter, and maybe the reduce critical ones too, well... Then it probably wouldn't be that big a deal to just mod crystals with Mechanics (and maybe give boost dice equal to force rating, just to represent that they're attuning it or something).

Made a similar argument (probably in the wrong topic) here: http://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/114502-eoteaor-lightsaber-versus-fad-lightsabers/?p=1236134

Maybe it's a bit too KOTOR-ish?

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In conjunction with Azrael's comment, and my own thoughts, I really like the idea of separating out the "crystal" as one attachment and the "emitter" as the another. The standard emitter does nothing special, and is the "training emitter" in the book.

 

Then adding an attachment:

 

Focusing Emitter

Base Modifiers: None.

Modification Options: 2 Damage +1 Mods, 1 Decrease the weapon's critical rating by one to a minimum of 1 Mod.

Hard Points Required: 1

 

This would reduce the overall number of modifications needed to bring a standard lightsaber up to that of the ones seen in EotE and AoR.

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I like the idea of the emitter, and was going through my old KOTOR2 strategy guide to review how that game handled upgrading a lightsaber, since it seems that FFG is taking a page from those games in regards to lightsaber attachments/modification.

 

I think splitting out some of the crystal modifications to things like an emitter, with maybe a couple of focusing lens options would help cut down on the truckload of modifications that some crystals (looking directly at you, Ilum crystal) have attached to them.

 

For the core rules at least, we're probably good with a basic emitter like the one JediHamlet stated, though I'd probably drop the crit rating element and just leave it as a couple of upgrades to damage, likely starting with a +1 damage for installing the emitter and one additional +1 damage modification, a +1 Vicious quality, as well as the decrease crit rating (while also removing said option from all the 'saber crystals).  Base cost I'd think would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 2500 credits.

 

As for the lens, could probably have one that focuses on dueling (adding ranks of Defensive), blaster deflection (adding ranks of Deflection), or just damage (ranks in Vicious) with the same caveat as a focusing crystal in that you can only have one lens of a given type installed.

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Some more thoughts about crystal attuning:

 

I don't like the idea of Discipline as the skill for becoming more "attuned" to your lightsaber crystal. I see Discipline (and other Willpower based skills) as the "hard" head skills. Those that require skilled and resolute thinking. It's used to steel your mind against fear, and to control the flow of the Force with your mind.

 

Where the craft of aligning the power cell and focusing lens of the saber with the innate qualities of a unique crystal is more of a creative endeavor. Much like pulling that statue out of a block of marble. It requires creative thinking, intuition and not a little technical aptitude. Since there are no "craft" skills in this system, Mechanics seems to be the way to go.

 

And, so as not to detract from the Artisan's unique talents, again, I agree with Azrael (and other's) that Force Rating could add Boost dice (or more powerfully, upgrades) when modifying one's crystal to be more "attuned".

 

At first glance I did not like the idea of Mechanics being the skill that brought out the best qualities of a lightsaber crystal. It didn't seem to fit the atmosphere that has been brought about by various media. But after some thought, I think it works. The skills in this system indicate broad areas of capability, and its often in the description (ahem, narrative) that they make the most sense.

 

Perhaps, the eventual "fluff" text on modifying a lightsaber crystal can go into this distinction...

 

 

One other thing, there was some debate as to whether the difficulty increases due to increased number of modifications upgraded the rest of the difficulty dice once it reached past formidable difficulty. Although not clearly spelled out in the section on Installing Mods in all the CRBs -- it does mention that you destroy your attachment if a Despair is generated. How else are you going to get a despair, if you do not upgrade the difficulty dice?

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